Hello reddit, Chef Mike here again for another AMA! I'm here to answer your questions about cutlery, culinary, and more! Once again, we have a team here from J.L. Hufford Discover Gourmet to help answer some of your questions with demonstration videos. I'll be live at 1:00 EST, see you then!


My Proof


EDIT: Thanks Reddit, I had a lot of fun answering all your questions!

BONUS EDIT: How to roll a fatty (not what you think).

Comments: 149 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

shuvool15 karma

The descriptions of different knives often seem to be mostly marketing stuff (not an exclusive problem to you guys, I understand that businesses that produce products often try to sell their products). Without actually finding a specific knife and testing it out, what's the best way to choose, say, one 10" chef knife over another on a website or at a big store like need bath and beyond where the knives are displayed behind glass?

MG181421 karma

I’m not trying to be funny here, but that’s like going online and buying a car or a house from a picture, you don’t know if it’s going to be a good match for you. That being said. If you have a trusted friend that has something they use, check theirs out. The more research you do the more you can narrow it down to your decision. But your never really going to know unless that knife is in your hands

I would also suggest that when you get it you also know how to use the tool. If you go to Wusthof.com, I explain on there the different blade shapes and proper uses for them. Not one knife is a catch-all for every job in the kitchen.

MG181414 karma

We’ve got a question from somebody here on the set that I wanted to answer.

Q: With current trends in the culinary world, what do you see that’s becoming popular with new restaurants, and how do you get that to the home chef?

A: There’s a lot of restaurants and I’m part of the group Chef’s Collaborative that does a great job of making sure animals are raised and treated humanly, that’s going to give you a better, natural taste. It’s locally sourced, sustainable, whether it be seafood, pork and lamb, beef, produce, etc. I do think the restaurants are leading in that, and as people pick up on that.

EvilAshKetchum13 karma

I'm a professional cook with a few wusthof knives (I think the classic ikon handle is the most comfortable knife out there), looking to get away from paying other people to sharpen my knives for me. What tools and techniques do you recommend for keeping my daily driver nice and sharp?

MG181410 karma

We've got another question from the set:

Q: Who’s your favorite celebrity chef?

A: I really like Andrew Zimmern because he does so much with the kinda "out-there" things. There’s so many celebrity chef’s that it’s really hard to pick though.

cuzimchilllikethat9 karma

What's your favorite sandwich?

MG181412 karma

Probably a steak and cheese sandwich. Some of the new burger places have a few pretty incredible burgers too. I’m always down for a burger.

chuckingtea6 karma

Hello! Thank you for doing this AMA! Most people say that, once you hit a certain level, a knife is all personal preference. What, to you, makes a knife great?

MG18149 karma

First and foremost is the balance, using the right type of steel, and how it feels in your hand. Knives are very personal, and you have to make sure it fits you. Similar to a car.

Ben_Thar6 karma

My wife bought a pork roast. I know she's just going to throw it in a crock pot with some sort of sauce she saw in a recipe.

Please, what is a better way?

MG18144 karma

I guess it depends on if it’s a pork loin or pork tenderloin. What kind of cut?

Ben_Thar2 karma

It just says pork loin filet...about 1.5 pounds

ezzyrd5 karma

As we approach thanksgiving, what are some dish recommendations for vegetarians?

MG181413 karma

Squashes, potatoes, roasted root vegetables. You could even do dressing with a vegetable stock instead of a turkey stock. There’s always my daughters pretzel and red jello salad. Yum...

blaissed4 karma

Which line of Wusthofs do you recommend for the enthusiastic home cook? Let's say I need to get all new knives for Thanksgiving prep, what should I start with?

pussgurka4 karma

What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare for the Thanksgiving?

MG18146 karma

I’m a kinda center of the plate guy, I like to mess around with the turkeys. We almost always deep-fry one, smoke one, traditional oven roasted, and then there’s always a wildcard. One year I did turducken, never again, too much work.

For the sides I like to spread it around. We have an aunt who likes to do sweet potatoes. My daughter likes to do a pretzel salad, which is just pretzels and red jello. Yum. You get the idea.

eewone3 karma

Hi Mike. I'm a culinary arts student and i was wondering what makes a wüsthof knife better than its Japanese competition shun? Also what advice would you give someone going into this profession?

MG181410 karma

You have to remember the tools should be matched to the jobs you’re doing. Japanese style cooking is different than European style cooking. European style you’re doing a lot of root vegetables, carrots, onions, potatoes. Heavy items need heavy knives. The cooking process is longer as well.

Asian style cooking is a typically a quicker cooking process. Stir frying, tempura, you’re doing a lot of leafier vegetables, you’re thin cutting the vegetables to match that quick frying techniques.

All of the Wüsthof Asian style knifes are actually sharpened to a 10° angle, which as far as I know is sharper out of the box than our competition. So always match your tools to the jobs being performed.

As for advice, You’d better love it, because it’s hard physically demanding, a lot of hours, you’d better have a good family situation.

bambutz3 karma

Hi Chef Mike! I'm looking to make a fun garnish for Thanksgiving this year--any suggestions? :)

Spoonprose3 karma

Can you teach me to roll a fatty like you?

MG18145 karma

Thanks for checking out the Instagram that was a lot of fun to do! I'm not sure if I have everything I need to do that here, but I'll ask the people at J.L. Hufford and see if we can make it happen!

EDIT: Coming soon...

EDIT: Just for you, Spoonprose

ibarboiswaytooOP3 karma

Why do you like cooking?

MG18149 karma

When I was a little kid I loved to eat, and I wanted to learn to cut out the middle man. I started cooking when I was 5-6 and at that time it was just what my favorite foods were.

Growing up I played a lot of team sports. When the kitchen is busy it’s like a team sport, there’s a lot of teamwork, its hectic, and the kitchen atmosphere is a lot like that. The love of the two things together really clicked for me.

Moklov2 karma

Have you cooked for any celebrities and of so who?

MG18149 karma

Minnesota Vikings, there’s always football players, WWE wrestlers, a lot of things like that. Oh and Emeril Lagasse ALMOST came to my house once!

original_greaser_bob2 karma

lets say i can only buy ONE knife and ONE knife only. which would you recommend and what would i need to do to keep it in good working order? also have you can you and how often do you do this

RiskMatrix2 karma

How often should we get our quality kitchen knives sharpened? How often should we use a steel?

MG18143 karma

Hour and a half to 2 hours of use you should be honing your knife. In a home kitchen with a wooden or composite cutting board, probably once or twice a year to actually sharpen a knife to where you’re taking steel of to reset the edge.


DirtLoves2 karma

I use and love a lot of old Sabatier knives, I love the flat profile of the knife as opposed to some of the more rounded bellies of my German knives. However, I like the build and feel of more modern German knives. Is there a happy hybrid to be found?

MG18141 karma

As far as a brand that would be a good fit, I can’t really think of one. Everyone got away from that flat edge. If I’m going to be doing a lot of prep, I need a low-rock chop for so many different things. I need that bigger, heavier knife to do that.

MotherFuckin-Oedipus2 karma

I use my Wüsthof knives exclusively for making my own beef jerky.

What's your favorite jerky / flavor (or recipe, if you had one)? I'll make it in your honor in future batches!

MG18142 karma

I like some of the turkey jerkies, venison jerky is good. I’m a black pepper freak, pretty much cover anything in black pepper, I’m gonna like it.

VivaBeavis2 karma

I am looking to buy a good set of knives, and am strongly considering either the Classic or Ikon series. Is there really much difference in quality, or is it more of a preference in how they feel when using them? My only good knife now is a Shun chef knife from the Kramer series they did. How does my knife compare to the Classic or Ikon?

MG18143 karma

No difference in quality, one has a full bolster, one has a recessed bolster. It really depends on what’s most comfortable in your hand. Classic Ikons are on sale currently through the 14th ;)

Eziekel132 karma

Have you read kitchen confidential?

Any feelings on Bob Kramer knifes?

The item you find weirdest to tell other people you have even eaten?

MG18142 karma

I had pig-tails recently. I bought a bucket of pig tails at a Caribbean market, and I always look for interesting things I’ve never cooked with before, and the types of places I’ve worked at aren’t super creative. So I ran across this bucket of cured pig-tails. So I had to try them. I braised them in the oven and pulled them out and deep fried them and tossed them in buffalo wing sauce. If you like crispy skin and kinda fatty meat, it was really good, just kind of salty.

axemanohio1 karma

What can be done to improve knives?

MG18144 karma

That’s a great question. Ogg and Grogg created the first knife at least a billion years ago and it’s a simple hand tool. There are little changes you can make to the blade to make it more specific for a specific job, but at the end of the day it’s still a simple tool. So any time you see a new design feature on a knife, there’s a reason for it, and if you can’t tell or if the marketing isn’t doing a good enough story telling what it is, ask a sales associate or chef, there’s usually a good reason for it.

UncomfortableChuckle1 karma

I like cooking with steel pans though I find it difficult to get an even temperature from my typical electric stove surface elements. Do you have any recommendations on how to get a more consistent temp?

MG18149 karma

Ya, switch to gas. That’s really the only answer I know but as far as I know I’ve had an electric stove for awhile and I hated it. There may be some tricks like using a cast iron pan that’s going to carry the heat better than a stainless pan, but that’s probably about all you can do.

caillumknowles1 karma

Whenever I deep fry chicken or shrimp or whatever, the batter is always pretty bland, how can I make sure those flavours stay in there?

MG18142 karma

It depends on what you’re putting in your batter. If you’re using water, it will taste like water. Beers will add a different element. If you use a little bit of salt you can do that, Adobo seasoning or whatever you have. You can add smoked paprika or fresh cracked black pepper. It really depends on what you’re going for. You can even add toasted almonds to your batter that will crisp up when you cook, but make sure to add a bit of seasoning as well.

Always have your batter really cold.

CasePaper338310 karma

Would you punch a duck sized house, assuming one existed?

MG18144 karma

I’m gonna duck that question…